NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
‘Get real Cornwall Council’ say members of Kernow Branch Celtic League!
Senior members of Cornwall Council, a powerful unitary authority indeed and the de facto Government of Cornwall, have been touring the Duchy giving presentations to promote their ‘Case for Cornwall .’
The presentations have been made by the Leader of Cornwall Council, Cllr. John Pollard (Ind) and the outgoing Chief Executive, Andrew Kerr, one of a line of such who have lasted for very short periods in the office despite being in receipt of enormous salaries, the pair of them supported by a variety of Council officers.
The Kernow Branch of the Celtic League and many other organisations including Mebyon Kernow, the Party for Cornwall have remained highly critical of this ‘Case for Cornwall’ and of the suitability of Cornwall Council to take on extra powers.
An examination of Cornwall Council’s record to date is depressing and is the key to public concern. Putting it simply, Cornwall Council is not trusted.
Cornwall Council have presided over the greatest ever commercial development of Cornwall’s brown and even green field sites by massive developers whilst inflicting enormous cut backs on public services.
The role of the Duke of Cornwall and his influence over development is certain. He is currently overseeing enormous housing development of green field sites in Truro and Newquay and has bullied thousands of homeowners by serving legal papers on them reminding of his absolute right over the minerals directly beneath their properties and his access across their property to them. Quite how much control this two faced Royal property developer has exercised over the Council is not quite so certain.
The concerns are that Cornwall cannot cope in the face of this vast inward migration of wealthy home owners, second home owners and holiday home owners all making demands on a diminishing infrastructure which is at breaking point.
With reports of Cornish families on minimum incomes and even zero hour contracts depending on the food bank to survive, with the vagaries of the so called tourism ‘industry’ being held high as a solution to Cornwall’s economic woes despite the fact that it has resulted in more problems and demands on services and local taxpayers than it has created benefits down the past 40 years, with record numbers effectively homeless due to unreachable mortgages and high rents, the blame for many of Cornwall’s woes must lay fairly and squarely at the door of Cornwall Council who have failed to fight for the most venerable in the Duchy whilst being seen to align themselves with the wealthy and privileged.
Members of the Kernow Branch have been forcefully putting the real and unseen side of the Cornish people to Cornwall Council at every available opportunity much to the annoyance of Leader and Chief Executive of the Council.
Led firstly by the Convener of the Branch at their first meeting in Penzance where he was something of a lone voice of protest but ending up with a tidal wave of protest at the Truro gathering, the Kernow Branch are in the forefront of protest in defence of ordinary Cornish people.
The Branch firmly believes in proper devolution and a legislative Cornish Assembly but the current proposals based on an unpopular Cornwall Council are quite simply not the way forward.
The most recent hard hitting letter to Cornwall Council’s Leader from League member, local businessman and financial analyst who was outspoken at the Truro event, Iwan Le Moine follows:
“Dear Councillor John Pollard,
It wasn’t a great experience meeting you and your temporary CEO last night.
I think you’re a decent man; probably a good man and certainly a well-meaning man. In short, you’re a nice fellow.
But I don’t want a nice fellow to lead me, I want a leader.
Your blue-sky Case for Cornwall is 15-20 years and four CEOs too late, John.
You’re perpetually playing catch up, and the one question that ‘ordinary’ people ask me every single day, in every sphere of life is: how far have the developers got their arm up the council’s backside?
You said you’d be happy to meet me one on one, but what for? To repeat your well-intentioned exercise in short-term damage limitation, whilst daily, Cornwall burns, literally, under a sea of the most obnoxious and environmentally toxic man-made substance: concrete?
These developers, who control Cornwall’s agenda, build cheap crap – I know, I lived in the dubious Tregolls Farm Wain Homes development for three years – which they then flog on at grossly inflated and locally unaffordable prices, for most people here that need housing.
I will meet with you, but first, I need some action from you and your executive:
1- get rid of the deadwood, including expensive CEOs with no idea about or interest in Cornwall (I could probably find you half a dozen intelligent, competent and effective CEOs at less than half the cost, but with their heart and soul firmly rooted in Cornwall’s future wellbeing), colourblind planning officers (those who alarmingly think a farm is prime brown field development material, simply because there’s a shed in the corner of the land), corrupt councillors (awaiting a sticker from Prince Charles) and spineless yes-men disguised as councillors and overpaid officers.
2- DON’T ignore people; listen properly because otherwise your ‘reign’ will be remembered as fondly as that of Whalley, Robertson, Lavery & Co. should you continue to ignore real people, in favour of grand schemes, ideas and corporate business, above ordinary people trying to make an ordinary living in the Duchy.
3- when it comes to tough decisions (and I’m talking about development plans, not sacking half your staff or closing your toilets), grow some balls! I’m not trying to be offensive here; be bold and brave. It will probably cost you/us less in the long run, to get a decent lawyer to fight for your planning agenda AGAINST that imposed by developers, than having to deal with the consequences of the current development madness, which is rendering life for ALL here in the Duchy, intolerable, in terms of Treliske, traffic, parking charges, schools & nurseries, GP surgeries, police & safety, sewerage & flooding, mental health beds, air and water pollution, loss of green & recreational spaces, loss of wildlife, greenbelts and other aesthetic wonders that have been here for generations, and of course (again), traffic….
John, you’ve just been re-elected leader of our council; LEAD, for God’s sake, and start standing up for one and all here in Cornwall; take advice from local business, charity bosses, environmental experts, political movements (including many parish councillors) who will all gladly give their time for FREE, if they were truly and genuinely engaged in the process of making things better in Cornwall.
I really wish you well, John, because yours is not an easy job. But as was repeated again and again by members of the public, at last night’s meeting, the general perception of Cornwall Council at the moment, is rather dire, and in that context, what ever ideas you put out for consultation, these will be very badly received and overshadowed by that perception.
Iwan Le Moine”
(This article submitted by Kernow branch).
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)
ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.
The Celtic League was established in 1961and has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues
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